As the Covid-19 crisis takes its toll, bear in mind we are also dealing with it amidst a backdrop of many other social issues.
We have been dealing with ten years of health social care cuts. There are more food banks in the UK than there are McDonald’s. Places such as homeless cafes have become a part of everyday life.
People with disabilities are living in fear of DWP reassessments because they will not be able to survive if they don’t pass the reassessment for a condition which plainly is not going to be getting any better.
People struggling on Universal Credit have literally nothing to live on and live day to day knowing they face a sanction culture from the DWP that means they could quite easily be banned from receiving benefits for months.
People from the trans community, my community, still face ridicule and discrimination daily. Just going to the shop can be a strategic exercise, as law-abiding citizens that have discriminatory views towards trans identity’s very existence, are allowed to spout their hate under the guise of free speech.
Six months ago we had an election to vote in a new government, essentially just a couple of weeks before Christmas. I am not sure about you, but to me, it felt like we didn’t even have a Christmas! It was all just so rushed, there wasn’t really time to build into the Christmas spirit and enjoy the festivities as we usually do.
We get over what was a poor Christmas and then we have got to face the question that everyone has been asking for over the past few years… Brexit! Wouldn’t it be nice to be just having the discussion about Brexit now? Imagine if that were the most important thing on our minds at the moment.
It seems years ago now that the Australian bushfires ravaged a massive piece of area and wiped out so much of the beautiful wildlife. I am devastated at what the people that lived in those areas have had to deal with.
If life was a boxing match, it is as if we would be going ten rounds with Mike Tyson at his peak! Get knocked one way, knocked another, on the ropes hoping for the bell, for a little bit of respite, yet no bell comes.
The world seems to have changed in such a short space of time. I’m pretty sure that the term ‘self-isolation’ wasn’t on anyone’s lips a year ago, yet here we are.
One thing that hasn’t changed is our sense of community and it is this that is going to pull us through these surreal days. Keep in touch with friends and support organisations via social media, make it a rule to check in with people every day. Learn a new skill such as art or document these days in a diary.
We can get through this, but we are going to need to get through it together, even if we are physically self-isolating. Do not feel alone and be sure that this time will pass. If you are not connected with online support, make sure you reach out!
I want to send my thanks, thoughts and prayers to the many community champions out there that are making a difference. We could not get through this without you. That includes not only our volunteers and charities, and our NHS, Community Care Workers, Emergency Services, but also our unsung heroes who work in our supermarkets and transport networks.
When we, as a community, get beyond these scary days, I truly hope we begin to value the true heroes in our society.
Stay safe everyone, much love.